Single European Sky progress reports
The European Commission has warned that Member States and stakeholders will need to do more to ensure the Single European Sky (SES) becomes a reality. The report on the implementation of the Single European Sky concludes that more is still required to achieve full and timely implementation of the first package of legislation adopted in 2004. The main concerns relate to insufficient steps towards cross-border air navigation service provision, the lack of interoperability of air navigation systems and the lack of resources for national supervisory authorities as well as their low level of activity in monitoring the air navigation service providers.
The report provides a detailed "snap shot" of the implementation of the Single European Sky, which involves reforming the European Union's air traffic management (ATM) system.
The Commission identified in particular three areas of concern:
- The lack of resources for National Supervisory Authorities leading to a low leve of monitoring activities of air navigation service providers should be addressed swiftly.
- There remains a considerable lack of interoperability of air navigation systems leading to higher costs, barriers to the mobility of air traffic controllers and missed opportunities due to fragmented equipment markets.
- The establishment of Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs), a concept of consolidation of service provision regardless of national borders. FABs still meet difficulties to be fully set up and functioning by December 2012. These blocks are essential for generating real benefits to airspace users and passengers by delivering cost savings and capacity enhancements.
Member States are urged to confirm their commitments and to take action to make the Single European Sky implementation process a success. Failing to take measures at national level to achieve the Single European Sky would oblige the Commission to reopen the legislative packages in view of more radical solutions.
The Single European Sky was launched with the adoption of a first package of legislation in 2004 (SES I) and followed up with a second package (SES II) in 2009. Although the Member States and stakeholders have already done a significant amount of work in the wake of the first package, there still remain many other measures that will need to be implemented.
As regards the second package, its successful delivery now relies on the timely implementation of its different components. Priority should be given to actions that will make the biggest contribution to performance, in particular:
- the performance scheme (starting early in 2012)
- the FABs (to be operational by end 2012)
- the ATM network functions operated by the Network Manager (already in place)
- the deployment of the SESAR programme (to start in 2014).